by Jessica Hall
From a roofer to a restaurant and from farms to a packaging firm, recipients of Wednesday’s awards for the best family-owned Maine businesses are a diverse bunch.
Presented by the Institute for Family-Owned Business, the Maine Family Business Awards recognized firms that demonstrated excellence in family involvement, business success and commitment to employees, customers and community. About 80% of businesses in Maine are owned by families.
For the first time, the group gave a national service award to recognize Puritan Medical Products of Guilford for its role in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Puritan, one of only two manufacturers worldwide of test swabs for the disease, dramatically increased its manufacturing of them by building new plants and running shifts 24 hours a day to meet the pandemic demand.
Overall, the Institute for Family-Owned Business vetted 166 nominations and 40 semifinalists competed to receive seven awards.
The Renys Large Business of the Year, which recognizes businesses with more than 25 employees, was Zachau Construction of Freeport. The three-generation business has grown from a residential builder to one of southern Maine’s leading construction management firms, the IFOB said.
The Maddy Corson Small Business Award, presented to firms with fewer than 25 workers, was awarded to Smiling Hill Farm of Westbrook. The dairy, with roots dating back to 1720, supplies milk, cheese and ice cream, as well as provides farming education, recreation and entertainment to visitors year-round.
Other award winners included Horch Roofing of Warren, which received the Cumberland Crossing by OceanView Environmental Leadership Award for its commitment to sustainable practices. Springworks Farm of Lisbon won the People’s United Bank Innovation and Technology Award for its aquaponic system to raise tilapia and grow organic lettuce, and Origin of Farmington won the Holiday Inn by the Bay First Generation Award for bringing textile manufacturing back to the region.
Dolphin Marina and Restaurant of Harpswell, a fourth-generation business won the Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award. Volk Packaging Corp. of Biddeford, a third-generation business producing corrugated packaging, won the Shep Lee Community Service Award, for supporting veterans and youth. Volk makes Veterans Boxes, free of charge, so veterans’ homes can return the personal effects of deceased veterans to their loved ones.
The second-ever BerryDunn Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Harry Fraser, president of the Winslow-based H.G. Fraser Group LLC, for his contributions to the growth and development of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. He was instrumental in the transition of the group from a part of the University of Southern Maine to a separate nonprofit.
A special thank you to HR Coodinator Tori Beal for nominating Volk Packaging for this honor.